Wednesday, December 16, 2020

String-A-Long--post 2

Using the newsprint to trim the string fabric
After piecing the strips, I trimmed the strings. The newsprint foundation made it easy to determine the parameters of the pieced fabric. I trimmed the string fabric with the newsprint side up. Generally, when I paper piece strings, I don't leave much fabric along the waste edge. Some people will leave an inch to an inch and half. Then they will piece those scraps into projects. I rarely join that camp. Although, I have used trimmed strips that way!

Once I've trimmed the pieced fabric, I removed the paper. The needle perforated the paper when I stitched the fabrics together. The perforations make the paper easy to remove. I gently pulled the paper away from the stitch line with one hand. With a finger or two on the other hand, I placed a little pressure on the adjoining seam. As I pulled the paper away from the piecing, I found that the the pressure helped the seams from becoming pulled too.

Strips untrimmed and trimmed
Paper removing is a great evening activity. My granddaughters liked removing paper although the activity reached boredom quickly when they were four and six year olds! 

Once I've removed the paper, the string fabric is ready to be made into blocks. Every time I trim a chunk, I'm impressed with how interesting all those combined bits make the chunks!

I paper pieced long strings until I had stitched the majority into 11 inch squares. I could cut three 3 1/2 inch strips out of one 11 inch square. I paper pieced a few eight inch squares because I had strings in that length. I also thought the 3 1/2 inch unfinished squares from the eight inch squares might make a good border. I pieced 3 1/2 inch strips with the short strings. Occasionally, I'd slip in a few crumbs to add a little more interest. 

Cclose up of a few crumbs added as a string
It does take time to prepare the string fabric. The piecing is easy to do. The result is worth the effort. The question is, at what point is that string no longer viable for piecing? The answers depends on the piecer! Some people would toss the pieces that were too short for the 3 1/2 strips. Others would add a piece to the strip to make it work. Some people might stitch those bits into pieces to make strings!

Once I've trimmed the strips and removed the paper, I piece strips together until the strip is the length of the background fabric strips. Sometimes, I stitched the strips together before I removed the paper. Either way works!

Cutting triangles

When the string strip is about the same size of the background strip, I placed them right sides together and stitched both long sides of the strip. Next, I used the essential triangle tool to cut triangles. I lined the 3 1/2 inch line slightly above the edge of the fabric. I flipped the ruler and continued cutting triangles. I could cut between nine and ten triangles from a strip.

The apex of the triangle has three to five stitches that need to be removed; but, that takes no time.Next, I pressed the seam toward the background fabric. I also weighted the pieces and let them cool before I squared the blocks. Letting the pieces cool helps the seam allowance stay put. I was able to make 4 1/2 inch squares from this process. 

Remove stitches at the triangle apex
At this point, I'm ready to play with designs although the number of blocks I currently have wouldn't make more than a table runner. The design phase is truly the magic part of the process. I'll share a few designs in my next post on this subject. 

In the meantime, I guess I'd better get back to making more string fabric. Although, I'd better finish clue three of the Grassy Creek mystery first.
Pressed HST cooling


Rebecca Grace said...

Your strings are looking good! How small is too small to toss? Well, it gets harder and harder to throw ANY scraps away now that I'm thinking "but I could cut a 1/2" berry applique or flower center from that little smidge of fabric!" If it's a FAVORITE fabric and I know I can't get anymore, I put the most ridiculous little snippets in the scrap bin. I like running into those "old friends" from time to time when I'm digging through the bins! said...

Thanks, Rebecca. I've got plastic bag this filling with small parts . . .I'm thinking I could make some crumb squares. . . .It is ridiculous to save them . . .most likely!!! I hear you about those "old friends!"